Banbridge Academy students make poignant visit to First World War battlefields

Some of the girls from Banbridge Academy who went on a school trip to the Battlefields in Europe
Some of the girls from Banbridge Academy who went on a school trip to the Battlefields in Europe

A visit to Europe was a poignant one for Banbridge Academy student Deborah Cartmill who honoured two of her long lost relatives who died during World War One.

Deborah Cartmill, was on a school trip along with the rest of Year 10 to the WWI Battlefields of Northern France and Belgium in June, to mark the centenary of the outbreak of WWI and commemorate the sacrifice made by local soldiers.

Students from Banbridge Academy at their recent visit

Students from Banbridge Academy at their recent visit

Both of Deborah’s great great uncles were killed in action, brothers David and James Frame, both from Dromore, were only 21 when they died, ironically within a year of each other.

Deborah said that she felt very priviledged at becoming the first member of her family to make such a visit.

“My most outstanding memory will be remembering and honouring my long lost relatives who sacrificed their lives at such a young age for the generations to come,” she said.

She laid a wreath where David lay injured and another at Tyne Cot Memorial where his brother’s name is engraved.

“I was greatly anticipating the trip because I had always been told of two great great uncles, who died,” Deborah said.

“David Frame was the first brother to sign up to the Royal Irish Rifles.

“From the front he wrote a letter to the Dromore Weekly thanking them for a ‘splendid parcel’ and wrote, ‘I am more than glad to tell you that all the Dromore boys in our battalion are safe so far.’ Unfortunately he died shortly afterwards from injuries received when a stray German shell hit his company on June 28 1916. He died the next day.

“James Frame was living in America when the war started and moved back home in order to sign up, five months after his brother’s death. He joined the Royal Irish Fusiliers at Newry and arrived in France during 1917. James was killed in action, on August 16 1917, and has no known grave. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the missing.

“My great great grandmother, Jane Frame who had already been widowed lost two sons within the space of a year.

“I enjoyed my school trip for many reasons, however my most outstanding memory will be remembering and honouring my long lost relatives who sacrificed their lives at such a young age for the generations to come.

The students also visited the British Cemetery at Martinsart, for a special act of remembrance to commemorate the sacrifice made by 11 soldiers from Banbridge and Dromore who were hit by a German shell on the June 28 1916, as they made their way through Picardy village, on their way to the Somme. Amongst those killed outright were two soldiers from Banbridge, David Dale and James (John) Carson.